Black/Red Teas:

Black tea

Black tea

Black teas are produced from Camellia sinensis leaves, that are allowed to oxidize more than oolong teas or green teas. Once the tea is oxidized it is dried to stop the process of decomposition. The flavour is usually more intense with these oxidized teas, and their are generally two types of flavors with these teas, smoky, and plain. The difference is in how the leaves are dried in the final process (open flame or in the usual copper basins). Western culture refers to the tea as black due to the dark color of the leaves after oxidization, however in Asian cultures it is more commonly referred to red tea due to the colour of the infusion. 

This tea was created, as a way to transport the tea longer distances, while maintaining its aroma and flavour. Producers discovered that by fermenting (oxidizing) the leaves first, and often compressing them into "cakes", the tea would last much longer, and thus were suitable to transport long distances.

To brew, a higher heat is recommended, and boiling water is fine. Steep for about 2-5 minutes depending on desired flavour. Like green tea, a longer infusion will create a more bitter, astringent tea, but not to the same extent as with green or white teas.

India is the worlds leading producer of black tea. Other top producers are Sri Lanka, as well as various African, and South American countries. 


Assam

Indian. Commonly used in blends, and a lot of it is considered low grade and used in tea bags, however there exists some high quality Assam tea as well.

 

Ceylon Black Tea

Sri Lanka. Generally produces strong, bold, rich flavors.

 

Darjeeling Black Tea

Indian. Commonly referred to as the "champagne" of tea. Available in multiple flushes, whith the first flush holding the highest value.

 

Earl Grey

Flavored black tea. Uses bergamont essential oils to flavour the tea. One of the most popular black teas in the western world.

 

Keemun Black tea

Chinese. 

 

Lapsang Souchong

Chinese. Large, dark, rolled leaves. Considerably smoky qualities, due to different drying technique involving smoking the leaves over a fire (usually pine wood). This imparts characteristics from the burnt wood including terpenes, and longifolene which are not present in other teas. Souchong refers to the fourth and fifth leaves of the plant, meaning they are picked further away from the highly prized buds of the plant. Smoking these leaves adds flavor to a generally unvalued tea.

 

Yunnan Black Tea

Chinese. Grown in the Yunnan province.